Florida is among the harshest states in the U.S. when it comes to penalties for drug offenders. Even a first-time drug charge can have lifelong consequences; depending on how much and the type of drug you are accused of possessing, you could face a first-degree felony charge. Without the proper representation, you could be punished with up to 30 years in prison and fines of $10,000 for this offense. The potential penalties vary widely but could be even more severe if you have prior convictions on your record.
Fortunately, a drug crime attorney like Keeley Karatinos of Karatinos Law, PLLC can help. She serves clients in Dade City, Zephyrhills, Wesley Chapel, and Pasco County, helping them navigate their drug defense. She fights aggressively for her clients, and is committed to finding justice.
When you need a knowledgeable attorney on your side to defend against drug charges in Dade City, turn to Karatinos Law, PLLC. Ms. Karatinos is available at (352) 605-6018.
What Drugs Are Illegal in Florida?
The list of controlled substances in Florida is long, but the charges one may face for possession, manufacturing, or distribution of each of them can vary based on the Schedule of the drug.
The controlled substances which are most illegal to possess in Florida include:
- Certain amounts of marijuana
- Any amount of cocaine
- Any amount of methamphetamine
- Any amount of LSD
- Any amount of ecstasy
Under Florida law, there are two ways someone can be convicted of “possession,” known as actual possession and constructive possession. You can be charged with actual possession if you are being accused of having the substance on your person. Conversely, you can be charged with constructive possession if you have control over the substance, even though it’s not immediately in your possession.
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Florida
Penalties for drug crimes in Florida can be severe and vary depending on the type of drug, the amount involved, and the specific criminal offense. Florida law classifies drug crimes into different categories, each with its own set of penalties. Here's an overview of the potential consequences for drug crimes in the state:
- Possession: Simple possession of a controlled substance is typically charged as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines.
- Possession with Intent to Sell: If authorities believe you had the intent to sell or distribute drugs, the penalties can be significantly harsher, including mandatory minimum sentences.
- Trafficking: Drug trafficking charges involve large quantities of controlled substances. Penalties range from mandatory minimum prison sentences to life imprisonment, depending on the drug type and quantity.
- Manufacturing: Producing illegal drugs is a serious offense, with penalties that can lead to substantial prison time.
- Prescription Drug Crimes: Misuse of prescription drugs is also a criminal offense and can result in fines and imprisonment.
- Drug Paraphernalia: Possession of drug paraphernalia, such as pipes or syringes, can result in misdemeanor charges and potential fines.
- Enhancements: Penalties can be enhanced if the drug crimes occur within a specified distance of schools, parks, or other designated areas.
It's important to note that Florida's criminal justice system offers alternatives to incarceration for some non-violent offenders, such as drug court programs and rehabilitation options. However, the availability of these alternatives depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the defendant's willingness to participate in treatment.
If you or a loved one is facing drug-related charges in Florida, it's crucial to seek legal representation from an experienced Dade City drug crime defense lawyer. Our skilled attorney can evaluate the details of your case, build a robust defense, and work to mitigate the potential penalties you may face.
If you have been charged with drug possession, manufacturing, or distribution in Florida, the best way to build a defense is by getting help from a drug crime attorney like Karatinos Law, PLLC. Contact Ms. Karatinos today at (352) 605-6018.
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Legal Researcher and Writer